For a better understanding of small-scale solar activities, the Chinese Large Solar Telescope (CLST) with a 1.8-m aperture was proposed in 2011. As the first open solar telescope in China, it has some technical challenges that need to be addressed (e.g., thermal controlling for the primary mirror, cooling for the heat stop, system assembly, etc.). To support the design of CLST, a prototype of an open solar telescope (POST) with a 600-mm aperture was designed and fabricated from 2014 to 2017. A series of experiments for technical verifications were carried out based on the POST. The design, integration, and experiments done with the POST are reviewed. The solar observation results during its first commissioning phase are also presented.
To control the mirror seeing effect and the thermal deformation, the actively cooled primary mirror is utilized in a large ground-based solar telescope. Due to direct solar illumination and high reflectivity of the mirror surface coating, the traditional contact or noncontact temperature measuring methods of the mirror surface are not available. A noncontact temperature estimation method based on the analytical heat transfer model of actively cooled primary mirror of a solar telescope is proposed. The experimental validation has been carried out on the actively cooled honeycomb mirror with 600-mm diameter. When the temperature on the mirror surface fluctuates between 23.7 deg and 26 deg, the corresponding estimation error is not more than 0.4 deg. The experimental results validate the correctness and accuracy of the proposed method.
In order to study some special solar activities, such as the emergence, evolution and disappearance progress of the sunspot and magnetic flux, and the key role of magnetic field, a new 1.8-meter size high-resolution solar telescope —the CLST will be built in the Institute of Optics and Electronics(IOE), Chinese Academy of Science(CAS), which locates in Chengdu, China. The CLST has a classic Gregorian configuration, alt-azimuth mount, retractable dome. Besides that, a large mechanical de-rotator will be used to cancel the image rotation, and finally it will cooperate with another kind of mechanical de-rotator to cancel both of the pupil rotation and image rotation. Φ3 arc-minute field of view will help the CLST to observe the whole solar activity region, and if necessary the FOV can be enlarged to Φ 6 arc-minute. A 1.8m primary mirror with honeycomb sandwiches structure made by using ULE material will reduce about 70% of weight. Thermal controlling system will also be equipped for the CLST, which including Heat-Stop, primary mirror, tube truss, mount and the other optics elements. An experimental system for validating thermal controlling of primary mirror and Heat-Stop has been built, and the temperature tracking results will be illustrated in this paper. Currently, we have finished the detailed design of the CLST, and some important components also have been manufactured and finished. In this paper, we describe some important progresses and the latest status of the CLST project during these two years.
The 1.8-m primary mirror of solar telescope is heated by the solar radiation and introduce harmful mirror seeing degrading the imaging quality. For the Chinese Large Solar Telescope (CLST), the thermal requirement based on the quantitative evaluation on mirror seeing effect shows that the temperature rise on mirror surface should be within 1 kelvin. To meet the requirement, an active thermal control system design for the CLST primary mirror is proposed, and realized on the subscale prototype of the CLST. The experimental results show that the temperature on the mirror surface is well controlled. The average and maximum thermal controlled error are less than 0.3 and 0.7 kelvins respectively, which completely meets the requirements.
For better understanding and forecasting of solar activity, high resolution observations for the Sun are needed. Therefore, the Chinese Large Solar Telescope (CLST) with a 1.8-m aperture is being built. The CLST is a classic Gregorian configuration telescope with an open structure, alt-azimuth mount, retractable dome, and a large mechanical de-rotator. The optical system with an all reflective design has a field of view of larger than 3 arc-min. The 1.8-m primary mirror is a honeycomb sandwich fused silica lightweight mirror with an ultra lower expansion material and active cooling. The adaptive optics system will be developed to provide the capability for diffraction-limited observations at visible wavelengths. The CLST design and development phase began in 2011 and 2012, respectively. We plan for the CLST’s start of commission to be in 2017. A multiwavelength tomographic imaging system, ranging from visible to near-infrared, is considered as the first light scientific instrument. The main system configuration and the corresponding postfocal instruments are described. Furthermore, the latest progress and current status of the CLST are also reported.
For better understanding and forecasting of the solar activity and the corresponding impacts human technologies and life on earth, the high resolution observations for Sun are needed. The Chinese Large Solar Telescope (CLST) with 1.8 m aperture is being built. The CLST is a classic Gregorian configuration telescope with open structure, alt-azimuth mount, retractable dome, and a large mechanical de-rotator. The optical system with all reflective design has the field of view of larger than 3 arc-minute. The 1.8 m primary mirror is a honeycomb sandwiches fused silica lightweight mirror with ULE material and active cooling. The adaptive optics system will be developed to provide the capability for diffraction limited observations at visible wavelengths. The CLST design and development phase began in 2011 and 2012 respectively. We plan for the CLST’s starting of commission in 2017. A multi-wavelength tomographic imaging system with seven wavelengths range from visible to near-infrared wavelength is considered as the first light scientific instruments. In this paper the main system configuration and the corresponding post focal instruments are described. Furthermore, the latest progress and current status of the CLST are also reported.